Tuesday, March 1, 2016


Thank you March for coming in like a lamb! 

A few brave daffodils are
blooming in my yard! 
March is a month of holidays for my family. Some are days of celebration; some of quiet mourning. Easter, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Palm Sunday, St. Patrick's Day, St. Calvin's Day, Spring Equinox, Christan's, Jim 3's, Beulah's, and Sabra's birthdays, March 12 is Mom and Dad's anniversary, and March 1 is St. David's Day. 

But. We don't make it much past March 1 without a sick knot forming in our stomach. My dad passed away on March 18th a few minutes past midnight in 2008. We've always called that "Saint Calvin's Day." 

He had a major stroke on Leap Day, 2008. We brought him home. My mom turned the back bedroom of the old farmhouse into a mini-hospital. We cared for him around the clock. 

I came home from Bynum March 1. Mary came home from Alaska on March 5. Christan came home from Spokane on March 6. My sister Lydia and her family were at home more than they were in Charlotte. My brother Chan and high school friends came and ate lunch with us every day. Beyond short holidays and Christmas, for the first time since Chan got married and me college - August,1976 - we were all home together. 

On March 12 Dad sent my sister Lana to town to get my mom, "a nice pin and a pretty card." It was their 58th wedding anniversary. And he remembered. 

My dad stayed lucid and his brothers and sisters, family, friends and grand babies came to visit. 

He told us all, repeatedly, how much he loved us, how much we meant to him. 

My niece Celena had her first baby, Sabra and the next day my dad got to hold her. 

My Uncle Pete would come by and visit and they would laugh for hours. Things that happened cutting lumber, working in the paper mills, at the tannery. Small town stories, farm stories, church stories.... 

Beulah Quinn had a birthday party with Dora the Explorer party hats. 

Church family came to visit. 

Young fellows my dad had mentored came, Wayne, Tanner, the football team, Talon, the East Fork Boys, Coach Fox.... 

I said at the time, and I say it now. That 3 weeks in that old farmhouse is the best we, my family, has ever achieved. Not one minute would I trade for a million dollars. 

On his last day I opened the window and spring came pouring in. Peepers chirping, chickens cackling, the sound of a tractor turning the lower field, new grass, damp soil.... And we talked about farming for a long long time.

After a while the breeze turned cool. I realized it must be four or five o'clock.... "Better close that window before it gets too cold.... then I guess I need to go get some lunch." He picked up my hand and kissed it. And said, "You always worry after everyone else before you ever look after yourself." 

Some think I'm bossy. Some think I'm obnoxious. I'm just always worrying after everyone else. My father is only one of three people that ever got me. It is a rare thing. I realized even then how lucky I've always been. But. It makes me miss him even more. 

To give someone time and love and care so they can exit this world with peace and love and dignity is giving them a gift. And every moment you spend doing that is gift for you.


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Thank you so much for looking at my calendar! And most of all for listening to my stories and sharing yours with me. 

See you soon!  


Email me: CynthiaRaxter@gmail.com
Further adventures: http://cynthiaraxter.blogspot.com